Tampa City Council takes up dirt bike and ATV issue

Hillsborough County

TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Tampa residents made some noise about dirt bikes and all-terrain vehicle’s making noise and created dangerous situations on city streets, now the Tampa City Council is taking a closer look at the issue.

On Thursday, council members heard a follow-up presentation from the Tampa City Council on how to stop the problem plaguing city streets.

8 On Your Side has been looking into the problem for months after resident Kristopher Gallagher reached out to tell us about it and is happy to know the city council is working on a solution.

“I guess if you make enough noise, it sounds like something will happen,” Gallagher said.

Tampa City Council Member Orlando Gudes requested an ordinance be drafter to address the issue.

“We had a lot of complaints about dirt bikes in the city of Tampa and a lot of accidents and a few deaths have occurred,” he said.

On Thursday, the Tampa Police Department made a presentation to the council about the issue, reiterating what Tampa Police Chief Brian Dugan told 8 On Your Side when we asked, that they’ve made arrests, but it’s a tough thing to police.

Council Member Gudes, a former police officer understands the tough position Tampa police but says more must be done.

“We can’t say we can’t do something… we have to find out what can we do,” Gudes said.

In 2020, Tampa Police received 886 calls about dirt bikes and ATVs:

Of those:

  • 712 were dirt bikes
  • 174 were ATVs
  • 46 cases ended in an arrest
  • 16 people booked
  • 13 felony charges
  • Breaking down the issue by district:
  • District 1: 5 cases
  • District 2: 12 cases
  • District 3: 29
  • 17 vehicles impounded

Chief Dugan says Tampa police are doing thier best to handle the situation.

“We have to hope that we can catch up to them in traffic. We hope we can identify them later. There’s a lot of work that goes into that,” Dugan said.

Meanwhile, Tampa police told the council they will look at using an existing ordinance that allows them to impound those illegal vehicles.

The city council will revisit the issue in 60-90 days to see if that helps curb the problem. Kristopher Gallagher hopes so.

“It’s good to know some that there’s somebody above my head that understands that this is a concern and that there are moves. There are steps forward.”

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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